Q. What is a feeding disorder?

A. A child with a feeding disorder has difficulties related to eating or drinking. There are many different types of feeding problems, and no two children have the exact same problem. At Happy Hungry Hippos, we are dedicated to helping children overcome their feeding issues and establish proper feeding and nutritional habits so that additional health problems can be avoided.

Q. Who needs feeding therapy?

A. Red flags indicating a child is a candidate for a referral
(Yes-if any of the following are present)

  • Ongoing poor weight gain (rate re: percentiles falling) or weight loss
  • Ongoing choking, gagging or coughing during meals
  • Ongoing problems with vomiting
  • More than one incident of nasal reflux
  • History of traumatic choking incident
  • History of eating & breathing coordination problems, with ongoing respiratory issues
  • Inability to transition to baby food purees by 10 months of age
  • Inability to accept any table food solids by 12 months of age
  • Inability to transition from breast/bottle to a cup by 16 months of age
  • Has not weaned off baby foods by 16 months of age
  • Aversion or avoidance of all foods in specific texture or food group
  • Food range of less than 20 foods, especially if foods are being dropped over time with no new foods replacing those lost
  • An infant who cries and/or arches at most meals
  • Family is fighting about food and feeding (i.e. meals are battles)
  • Parent repeatedly reports that the child is difficult for everyone to feed.
  • Parental history of an eating disorder, with a child not meeting weight goals.

Q. How common are feeding dififculties and why?

A. Experts estimate that nearly 25% of all children, or 80% of children with developmental delays or multiple handicaps, have feeding disorders. Eating is the most complex task that human beings engage in. It is a task which requires every one of your organ systems, and requires that those systems work correctly. Every muscle in the body is involved, for example, it takes 26 muscles and 6 cranial nerves to coordinate one swallow. In addition, eating is the only task children do which requires simultaneous coordination of all 8 sensory systems.

Q. What are common diagnosis which can contribute to feeding difficulties?

A. Sensory Integration Disorder, Developmental Delay, Autism
Aspergers, ADHD, Down's Syndrome, Prematurity, Neurological disorders

Q. What is SOS feeding therapy ?

A. The SOS (sequential oral sensory) feeding program is a noninvasive developmental approach to feeding. This program is designed to assess and address all the factors involved in feeding difficulties. The focus is to improve the child’s comfort level while learning about food properties (texture, smell, taste), in a playful and non stressful way.
The normal development of feeding is the basis of setting up treatment goals. Food Hierarchies/choices play an important role in the feeding treatment. This helps the sensory systems shift slowly into accepting new foods. This stair step approach begins with the basic ability to tolerate the food in the room, in front of him/her, touch interact, smell, taste, and eventually eating new or no preferred foods.

Q. How involved will I be in my child’s treatment session?

A. Parent education and involvement is an essential part of this feeding approach. A therapist works directly with the parents while they are watching each feeding session to learn this approach to feeding.

Q. What is Therapeutic Listening?

A. Therapeutic Listening® is an evidence-backed protocol that combines a sound-based intervention with sensory integrative activities to create a comprehensive program that is effective for diverse populations with sensory challenges. Therapeutic Listening can impact sensory modulation, attention, behavior, postural organization, and speech and language difficulties.

Listening is the ability to accurately perceive, process, and respond to sounds. Problems with listening are often part of other perceptual, motor, attention and learning difficulties that affect a large number of children and adults with sensory processing problems.

The  program is designed to produce specific effects on listening skills. Sound-based technologies combine the therapeutic benefits of music with sophisticated sound technology. These tools allow therapists to approach a child's auditory (hearing and listening) system directly through the use of electronically altered music.

Therapeutic Listening Designed by Sheila Frick, OTR: This program is designed for children and adults with:

  • Learning and attention difficulties
  • Auditory processing problems
  • Sound sensitivities
  • Receptive and expressive language problems
  • Perceptual difficulties
  • Sensory integration challenges
  • Developmental delays

Includes electronically altered compact discs used in a prescribed manner. Requires a CD player and good quality headphones. Combined with sensory integrative treatment techniques, uses a whole body approach. The listening programs are individualized to each client and are suited for use at home and school. Maximum effectiveness in treatment outcomes is promoted by daily use. Typical program may involve two to six month of participation for initial gains.
For more information on therapeutic listening, visit visit http://www.vitallinks.net/index.shtml


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